nvdaily.com link to home page

Traffic | Weather | Mobile Edition
Archives | Subscribe


Local News arrow Economy and Jobs arrow Shenandoah County arrow Strasburg arrow Utilities

| 0

Strasburg wastewater treatment plant: Town has time to develop alternative plans


'Buried paperwork' results in sticker shock for officials

By Sally Voth

The Strasburg Town Council has time to come up with alternatives to the grossly underestimated wastewater treatment plant construction project, Town Manager Judson Rex told the finance and personnel committee Monday night.

Town council members continued to reel from the difference between the bids that came in from the project earlier this month and the engineer's estimate.

An oversight, due to documents being "buried under paperwork," according to engineering firm Malcolm Pirnie, meant the officials expected bids for the new wastewater treatment plant to come in at around $20 million.

Instead, the lowest bid was $31.4 million, and came from PC Construction Co., based in South Burlington, Vt. The town has already paid Malcolm Pirnie $2 million in design work.

While Malcolm Pirnie staffers knew by mid-September that the estimated cost of the project had ballooned to about $34 million, the message didn't get passed along to town staff before bids were advertised.

The town would need a nearly $37 million loan once construction, design and contingency costs were added in, Rex said, compared to about $24.7 million originally estimated. About $4.7 million in grants would have brought the earlier figure down to about $20 million, he said.

The new figure means the town would have to come up with an additional $500,000 a year in debt service -- or about $1.3 million annually.

"I do think we have one other choice, which is to refuse to do it," Councilman Scott Terndrup said at Monday's meeting. "Line in the sand, folks. We're not doing this.

"I think we ought to also consider the option of our taxpayers have put up $20 million, and that's as far as we go, and let the chips fall where they may."

Councilman Rich Orndorff also expressed anger.

"It makes me downright angry and I'm angry at our engineers," he said. "I don't think I can consciously saddle our citizens and us with another $11 million. I certainly would be standing on our engineers' desk and basically saying, 'How'd you make this mistake guys? That's what you get paid the big bucks for, and you're that far off.' It just, quite frankly, it smells."

Terndrup said the state or federal government needs to chip in some money to pay for cleaning the water that heads into the Chesapeake Bay.

"Because our taxpayers are coming up [with] more than their fair share of cleaning up this river," he said. "It's time for, I don't know who it is, but all these people who come here and tell us about how much they love the river, it's time to put up your money."

Rex said the current treatment plant is running at about 72-percent capacity, but if there would be three months of steady rain, that goes up to 90 percent.

"I don't feel like we have to just totally push forward and build this tomorrow," he said. "We need time to find and research all the options that are available. We have time to do that.

"Since this hit the fan, [engineers and designers] have been seeking us out."

While other localities are getting grants that cover 40-50 percent of their wastewater treatment projects, Strasburg is only getting about 8 percent of its project in grant funding, Terndrup said.

Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or svoth@nvdaily.com


Comments

Comments that are posted represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com.












Look Who 'Likes' nvdaily!



Daily readers: Click the "LIKE" button above to get Daily news and breaking news alerts on your Facebook page.

Activity & Recommendations

Local News Sections

Agency on Aging Agriculture Apple Blossom Festival Aviation Basye Berryville Boyce Breaking News Briefs Business Charities Civil War Clarke County Colleges Corrections Courthouse Notes: Permits, Transactions Courts & Legal News Crime & Public Safety Economy and Jobs Edinburg Education Edward N. Bell Election 2012 Entertainment Environment Fairs & Festivals Fire & Rescue Fishers Hill Fort Valley Frederick County Front Royal George Washington National Forest Guest Column Hard Times Health History Holidays Homes In The Spotlight Ledger Livestock Local Markets Maurertown Media Middletown Military & Veterans Moms Mt. Jackson New Market Page County Pets & Animals Politics Quicksburg Religion Rockingham County RSW Jail School News Shenandoah County Shenandoah Farms Volunteer Fire Department Star Tannery State Stephens City Steven A. Boyce Strasburg Toms Brook Traffic & Transportation Utilities Valley 911 Warren County Weather West Virginia Winchester Woodstock Year in Review




News | Sports | Business | Lifestyle | Obituaries | Opinion | Multimedia| Entertainment | Homes | Classifieds
Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Subscribe

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137

nvdaily.com
Best Small Daily Newspaper in Virginia!


nvdaily.com | seeshenandoah.com